Percival
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PERCIVAL

Percival (/ˈpɜːrsɪvəl/)—or Peredur (Welsh pronunciation: [pɛˈrɛdɨr]), Perceval, Parzival, Parsifal but also Par·Oz or Parival — was one of King Arthur's legendary Knights of the Round Table. First made famous by the French author Chretien de Troyes in the tale Perceval, the Story of the Grail, he is best known for being the original hero in the quest for the Grail, before being replaced in later English and French literature by Galahad.
DATABASES
Percival (/ˈpɜːrsɪvəl/)—or Peredur (Welsh pronunciation: [pɛˈrɛdɨr]), Perceval, Parzival, Parsifal but also Par·Oz or Parival — was one of King Arthur's legendary Knights of the Round Table. First made famous by the French author Chretien de Troyes in the tale Perceval, the Story of the Grail, he is best known for being the original hero in the quest for the Grail, before being replaced in later English and French literature by Galahad.
Perceval, hero of Arthurian romance, distinguished by his quality of childlike (often uncouth) innocence, which protected him from worldly temptation and set him apart from other knights in Arthur’s fellowship. This quality also links his story with the primitive folktale theme of a great fool or simple hero. In Chrétien de Troyes’s poem Le Conte du Graal (12th century), Perceval’s great adventure was a visit to the castle of the wounded Fisher King, where he saw a mysterious dish (or grail) but, having previously been scolded for asking too many questions, failed to ask the question that would have healed the Fisher King. Afterward, he set off in search of the Grail and gradually learned the true meaning of chivalry and its close connection with the teachings of the church. In later elaborations of the Grail theme, the pure knight Sir Galahad displaced him as Grail hero, though Perceval continued to play an important part in the quest.

The story of Perceval’s spiritual development from simpleton to Grail keeper received its finest treatment in Wolfram von Eschenbach’s great 13th-century epic, Parzival. This poem was the basis of Richard Wagner’s last opera, Parsifal (1882).
Sir Percival was raised by his mother in ignorance of arms and courtesy. Yet because of his upbringing, Percival was one of the most gracious and innocent of the Knights of the Round Table. Percival’s natural prowess, ultimately led him to King Arthur’s court where he immediately set off in pursuit of a knight who had offended Queen Guinevere.

Percival was the Grail knight or one of the Grail knights in numerous medieval and modern stories of the Grail quest. Sir Percival first appears in Chrétien de Troyes’s unfinished Percivale or Conte del Graal (c.1190). The incomplete story prompted a series of “continuations,” in the third of which (c. 1230), by an author named Manessier, Percival achieves the Grail. (An analogue to Chrétien’s tale is found in the thirteenth-century Welsh romance Peredur.)
The earliest tales of the Grail quest had Perceval as the hero.

The first tale of the Grail was written by Chretien de Troyes, called Le Conte du Graal (“The Story of the Grail”) or Perceval le Gallois. Unfortunately, Chretien never finish his story, due to his untimely death, where he stopped at mid-sentence. Several other writers continued where he left off, these works were known as the Grail Continuations. I will retell Chretien’s tale, and more briefly of other tales.

The next most important contributor to the Grail legend was Robert de Boron, a French poet who wrote three books, about 1200. Joseph d’ Arimathea and Perceval were concern about the Grail history and the Grail quest. The first book (Joseph d’ Arimathea) was the only book to survive intact, whereas we have only fragments of the second book, called Merlin. The last book (Perceval) is lost. I have retold the complete story of Joseph of Arimathea, under the title – the Origin of the Holy Grail. There is a second version about Joseph that was written in prose, called Estoire de Saint Graal, which is part of the Vulgate romances, but I have ignore this work for the moment.
Perceval is a central figure in medieval and modern accounts of the quest for the Holy Grail. Depending on the version, Perceval serves either as the sole Grail knight or as one of a select few worthy knights. As Perceval’s variable presence suggests, the Grail legend itself underwent many changes as it spread across Europe because in each version, the Grail and the Grail knight (or knights) reify the individual, social, and political hopes and fears of their respective societies. Perceval makes his debut in Chrétien de Troyes’ Conte du Graal [Story of the Grail] (c. 1190), in which he emerges from the sheltered obscurity of his mother’s upbringing, ignorant of knighthood, and transforms into the paragon of chivalric virtue in the Arthurian court after he goes to the court of the wounded Fisher King and witnesses the sacramental Grail procession. In addition to inspiring several translations — most notably the Old Norse Parcevals Saga and the Middle Dutch Parchevael, each unique in its own right — Chrétien’s unfinished Conte inspired several French texts known as the “Perceval Continuations.” It also served as the foundation for one of the greatest romances of the Middle Ages: Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzival (c. 1200–1210). Wolfram, like Chrétien, portrays Perceval as a naive rustic who must learn and prove his chivalric virtue by asking the question necessary to cure the Fisher King (whom Wolfram names Amfortas); however, he also endows Perceval with a greater destiny from the outset, predicting that he will establish a Grail dynasty to enact God’s
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